Being your own boss: Is self-employment the right move for you?

1 Jun 2021
The Covid-19 pandemic has given us all an opportunity to reflect on our personal and professional priorities. It has also highlighted a renewed focus on financial security and job satisfaction.
In response to the uncertainties of today‚Äôs job market, many people are considering working for themselves. 

Owning your own business can offer greater control over how you earn a living, with the potential to achieve career flexibility and a better work-life balance. It could also be a way to work in an area you feel passionate about, making the most of your skills and interests.
Ingeus is working with specialist partner Standguide to support JETS participants interested in self-employment. Tara Bowden, Self-Employment Specialist at Standguide, highlights some key considerations:

The responsibility of running a business

Being your own boss can be a great way of achieving independence and stability. However, it is a common mistake to see working for yourself an easy option, and you need to be realistic about what is involved:

Market feasibility

The first thing you should ask yourself when considering setting up a business is whether it makes sense to pursue your business idea. You need to evaluate whether it's achievable, sustainable, and whether there is a demand for the product or service that people will be willing to pay for. 

Business and marketing acumen

Do you have the skills, knowledge and commitment required to manage a business? Do you understand your customers, your suppliers, the target market and the competition? You need marketing and sales in order to drive your business, so it's important to have some skills and budget in this area. 

Owner suitability

Starting your own business is a big step and you'll need to consider whether you're prepared to take the leap. Does it fit in with your lifestyle? Are you financially prepared, and understanding of the fact that initially, you may need to take a financial hit? Are you mentally prepared for potentially turbulent and challenging times? And are you physically prepared to put in the time and committment to run and grow a business?

What you need to start your own business

It sounds obvious, but it all starts with a sound idea. What is the service or product that are you offering? Before you can embark on your venture, think about the following:

Financial feasibility 

Consider how much investment is required, for stock, tools and equipment, for promoting your business and for running your day-to-day operations.

Business planning

A detailed business plan is essential for understanding your costs, projected sales, target income and potential profit. Be clear on why your idea is viable and how you will achieve the sales required to be profitable.
If you are considering starting your own business, your JETS Employment Advisor can arrange for a referral to the self-employment specialists at Standguide: We will also cover broader discussions on the topics outlined above, to ensure that running your own enterprise is the right solution for you.
Running your own business offers some exciting opportunities for developing your career path, but you need to be sure it is the right solution to achieve your goals. Careful research and planning is essential. In our future articles, we will explore some common themes around self-employment and the challenges of Covid-19.

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